Phil Wood – Precisely What’s Needed and Nothing More

For the past two or three weeks I've been paying early morning visits to the Phil Wood shop, shooting a feature for Embrocation Magazine. It goes without saying that the cycling components they make are remarkable, but the machine shop provides a rich backdrop for the piece. Here's a teaser. Embrocation Number 4 should be out later this summer.

It's 6:30 am and the mills at Phil Wood are already devouring the day's diet of raw aluminum. Above the hum of machines an operator serenades the shop in Spanish and periodically the rhythm is punctuated by a large compressor bleeding off condensation from its tank. The air smells of cutting oil and fermenting beer from the nearby Gordon Biersch brewery. There's an ethereal glow from a mosaic of pastel colored windows on the back wall and upfront the sun streams through the open bay door. This is a machine shop where pretense and solicitors are turned away at the door...

Masterpiece 22T Sprocket Masterpiece Masterpiece

12 Responses to Phil Wood – Precisely What’s Needed and Nothing More

  1. Matthew says:

    Another fine example of a person, group, or organization that understands the idiom, Less is more.

  2. Dave Wyman says:

    Another terrific post with some equally terrific photographs.

    In 1975 I purchased a set of Phil Wood hubs for my 1962 Follis road bike. I probably did not do justice to my old bike with most of the renovations I inflicted upon it, except for the then hyper-modern hubs. Thirty four years later, they still roll smoothly on my old bike.

    Your post inspires me to confer upon my fixie a serious touch of class with a set of Phil Wood hubs.

    • Dave,

      Class is the word, and it applies equally to the product and the people at Phil Wood. These images are just a taste, there’s plenty more (and better) stuff to come. Jeremy Dunn is back from his Continental rides and getting stuck into the magazine. I’m excited to see this piece come together for Embrocation. The magazine gets better with every issue.

    • Awesome. I’m thinking I’ll be riding some Phil Wood on the single-speed commuter project that’s bubbling on the back burner.

  3. Pingback: Holy Phil « Crank Arm Steady

  4. Mark Rushton says:

    Can you hear that? It’s the sound of my wallet opening and my credit card being hit as I purchase hubs,bottom brackets and sprockets from Phil Wood. I’ve lived in denial for too long!

    • Mark,

      Personally I can’t decide between the available finishes. I love the red anodized hubs, the polished versions are superb but I just might go for a matte look (I love that picture of the unfinished hub in the box by itself). Decisions, decisions.

  5. Niki says:

    Thanks for putting into words so eloquently what Mobius cycle has known for years. Phil Wood is all this and more. When asked if they would sponsor the Core Whore they responded, “Can we engrave those hubs for you?” They proceeded to create art you can ride.

    Thank you Phil Wood!
    Love, Niki
    Check out the pics at

    • Niki,

      There’s a very genuine core to the company that can’t be measured in thousandths of an inch. In my relatively short time talking to Peter and Darla I can see why they’d be great to work with.

  6. Kurt says:

    Ahhh – Phil wood hubs. I lusted after them in my twenties. Always out of reach.

    I have been thinking the Pista needs a real set of wheels.

    I am happy to see someone is publishing your work and will certainly pick up a copy for my reading and viewing pleasure.

  7. Domestique Journal says:

    Beautiful photography as usual, but particularly charms and romantic in this article. Can’t wait to see the features in the fourth Embrocation!


  8. The Rev says:

    And on the 7th day he rode…

    It is inspiring to see a man with such talents making the world better one hub at a time